Enjoy the warm caramely flavors of this rich Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Penuche Frosting. Cinnamon, brown sugar, and banana come together in one perfectly decadent dessert.
ME BEFORE THE RECIPE…
The girls had picture day today!!!! I have absolutely no idea what they will look like but I imagine something along the lines of…
Emry – A big cheesy grin where her lips are stretched so thin you can hardly see them with closed, squinty eyes and chipmunk cheeks. I can’t wait to see that one!
Braelyn – This could go one of two ways: Either a beautifully composed smile with sparkling deep brown eyes and a look of innocence that makes you question if she really has put me through the ringer the past 7 1/2 years of her life…OR…her infamous “modelist pose” (which she calls it) that consists of a sassy smirk and soul piercing eyes. I’m not gonna lie, I would be content with the latter. I love a humorous school photo.
So Hawaii had the best system for taking school pictures. The company would come to the school, take pictures of all the kids, send home an entire package of photos, and then you would keep and pay for the ones you wanted. As long as you sent the remaining pictures back, they wouldn’t charge you for them.
Although, I was quite embarrassed after Braelyn returned all of her school pictures and informed her teacher and her classmates that, “My mom just made photo copies of all the pictures she wanted so she doesn’t need these anymore.”
Are you kidding me?!?!?! Yes, that may be correct. That is exactly what I did, but the whole world does NOT need to know that.
Oh, and don’t worry. Braelyn made sure to tell me that her friends and teacher considered that dishonest. Yes, I know. Thank you very much.
Anyway, I’m paying for it now. I don’t even get to see these current school pictures beforehand and yet I had to pick a package based off of what I thought they might look like. I guess I don’t have too much faith in my children’s photogenic skills when I choose the single $7 package that only includes 8 wallet sized photos. Haha!
Hey, all I need is enough for my photo album, their scrapbooks, and a few sets to send off to grandparents. And, well, you know…I can always photocopy some more…
HERE COMES THE FOOD…
If only I could apply my food photography skills to taking pictures of my children. That sure would be nice. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with ordering school photos in the first place. Not that I even display the ones that I order because of the cheesy backgrounds and the staged smiles.
But regardless, there is just something about taking pictures of STATIONARY food in CONTROLLED lighting where I can MANIPULATE almost all the variables that makes it so much more manageable than taking pictures of kids. I can’t imagine why…
Take, for example, this Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Penuche Frosting. This cake ain’t going nowhere. It ain’t gonna move an inch until I’m done with it and I decide to shove a bite into my mouth. This cake LISTENS. My children could learn a thing or two from cake.
But in all reality, whether or not I can take pictures of cake, doesn’t take away from the fact that this cake is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Kinda like no matter what my children’s school photos look like, they are a pretty darn awesome set of kids.
What makes this cake so spectacular??? Sit back and I’ll tell you.
- Two moist, cinnamon spiced layers of brown sugar banana cake. The brown sugar makes it extra soft because it absorbs more moisture than white sugar.
- A coating of, once again, cinnamon spiced caramely frosting called penuche frosting. It’s basically butter and brown sugar melted together with cream or milk added. It makes this delicious toffee like base that you then mix powdered sugar into. I added cinnamon, vanilla, and a dash of salt to my frosting to take it over the top in the yumminess category.
- Sprinkled chocolate toffee bits on top. You can home make your own toffee (who got time for that?!) or you can buy the milk chocolate Heath toffee bits and throw those on top.
- Optional chocolate ganache. If the toffee bits aren’t enough for your chocoholic taste buds, you can’t opt to drizzle chocolate ganache on top of the cake, over the brown sugar frosting. Hello sugar rush!!! For some reason, I find it super satisfying watching the chocolate drizzle down the sides of the cake. Of course, you can then still top it with toffee bits or toasted chopped nuts after the ganache has set for a bit.
Those are some pretty legit reasons, huh???
This cake has got to be one of my all-time favorite cakes. It’s like banana bread on crack. It has all that yummy comforting flavor of banana bread, yet the cake part is even richer and lighter because of extra sugar and an additional egg. I mean, I already have a hard time letting my kids eat banana bread for breakfast (more like a dessert), there is no way this cake will ever be on the breakfast menu. But dessert menu??? Heck yes!!! Every day if I could.
What’s even better than eating this cake alone, is eating this cake slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream to be exact. This combo makes the world stop, and for that brief moment, everything seems perfect.
NOTES ON THE RECIPE:
- You may use your own gluten free flour blend. I can’t guarantee the texture unless you use my recommended blend, but it should work fine. Do NOT add extra xanthan gum if your blend already contains it.
- Use super ripe bananas!!! Whenever making banana bread, muffins, or cake always use extremely spotted bananas (almost fully black) to achieve the best taste and texture.
- Opt for dark brown sugar as opposed to light. It gives a deeper, rich flavor.
- For the frosting, heat your butter and sugar on low until they are fully combined. Then bring to a low boil. If you heat them too quickly, it will separate and the sugar will burn. Don’t worry. It’s not too hard. Just follow the directions and you will have a lovely frosting.
- Frost the cake quickly. Once the cake has completely cooled, make sure to frost it quickly. The frosting sets quickly and then cannot spread easily.
- If your ganache is too thin after stirring, add a few more chocolate chips and stir until melted. If it is too thick, heat up two tablespoons more of cream for 15 seconds and stir into chocolate mixture. Repeat if necessary. Ganache will thicken, though, as it cools.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Banana Bread
- Gluten Free Toasted Coconut Toffee Banana Bread
- Gluten Free Banana Split Cheesecake
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- For the cake:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon molasses, or 2 tablespoons extra brown sugar.
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your all-purpose flour blend already contains it)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups high quality gluten free all-purpose flour (or my blend of ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white rice flour, ½ cup brown rice flour, ⅓ cup sorghum flour, ⅓ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup potato starch)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1½ cups mashed ripened bananas (about 3)
- For the frosting:
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- dash of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1¾ cup powdered sugar
- For the ganache (optional):
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8" round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly dust with any gluten free flour if not using a nonstick pan. Set aside.
- Begin making cake. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until each one is incorporated. Scrape down sides as needed. Add vanilla and molasses and mix until smooth.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, sift together baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum (if needed), cinnamon, and flours of choice (all-purpose or my suggested blend).
- Add half of the dry mixture to the mixing bowl and mix on low until combined. Add sour cream and mix until smooth. Add remaining flour and mix until combined.
- Add soupy, mashed bananas and mix on low until well incorporated.
- Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir with a spatula. Divide batter between cake pans and bake at 350 degrees in center of the oven for about 35 minutes or until cake bounces back at touch of a finger and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean with very few moist crumbs.
- Remove cake from oven and set on cooling rack. Let cool for 10-15 mintues. Run knife around the edges to loosen from pan and gently flip cakes, one at a time, onto palms, remove the parchment paper, and flip back right side up directly onto cooling racks. Allow to completely cool.
- While cake is cooling, begin making frosting. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Add 1 cup of dark brown sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Bring to a low boil and cook for 2 mins, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in milk, whisking vigorously. Add vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Bring back to a low boil and cook 2 mins more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm.
- Once mixture is lukewarm, add powdered sugar, starting with 1½ cups. Stir or beat until smooth. Add more sugar if needed. Frost and layer cake immediately. Frosting with set quickly. Add a small amount of warm water to frosting if you need to smooth it out or make it more spreadable.
- Immediately garnish with toffee bits on top if not using chocolate gananache.
- For chocolate ganache, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat heavy cream in microwave for 1 minute. Remove. Pour in chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour over cake and allow to sit for 5 minutes to slightly set. Sprinkle toasted nuts or toffee bits on top.
- Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in fridge for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
You may use your own gluten free flour blend. I can't guarantee the texture unless you use my recommended blend, but it should work fine. Do NOT add extra xanthan gum if your blend already contains it.
Use super ripe bananas!!! Whenever making banana bread, muffins, or cake always use extremely spotted bananas (almost fully black) to achieve the best taste and texture.
Opt for dark brown sugar as opposed to light. It gives a deeper, rich flavor.
For the frosting, heat your butter and sugar on low until they are fully combined. Then bring to a low boil. If you heat them too quickly, it will separate and the sugar will burn. Don't worry. It's not too hard. Just follow the directions and you will have a lovely frosting.
Frost the cake quickly. Once the cake has completely cooled, make sure to frost it quickly. The frosting sets quickly and then cannot be spread easily.
If your ganache is too thin after stirring, add a few more chocolate chips and stir until melted. If it is too thick, heat up two tablespoons more of cream for 15 seconds and stir into chocolate mixture. Repeat if necessary. Ganache will thicken, though, as it cools.